ConCourt dismisses election petition, with costs

THE full Constitutional Court (ConCourt) bench today declared President Robert Mugabe duly elected, paving the way for his inauguration set for Thursday in Harare.

Paidamoyo Muzulu

The Concourt dismissed Morgan Tsvangirai’s presidential election petition with costs.
Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku said it was the court’s view that any application lodged with it in terms of Section 93 of the constitution challenging the validity of an election of a presidential election was unique and could not be terminated by a withdrawal.
“The purported withdrawal by applicant is of no legal force save to indicate that the applicant has abandoned his wish. The application is dismissed with costs,” Chidyausiku said.
Chidyausiku further ruled that: “The Zimbabwe presidential election of 31 July 2013 was held in accordance with laws of Zimbabwe and constitution and electoral laws, the said election was free fair and credible and the result is a true reflection of the people of Zimbabwe who voted and consequently Robert Gabriel Mugabe was duly elected as president.”
Mugabe’s lawyer Terrence Hussein said: “We are happy with the judgment as it brings closure the matter and certainty in which the direction the country will take now. The court has awarded us the costs on an ordinary scale too.”
MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora said the court decision was expected since Tsvangirai had withdrawn his application but was worried that the bench went ahead to make pronouncements that may affect the High Court electoral petitions.
“The ConCourt without realising has made a decision that affects the 95 election petitions before the High Court by pronouncing the elections free, fair and credible and we find this very unfortunate,” Mwonzora said.
Meanwhile, High Court judge Justice Chinembiri Bhunu today also dismissed another application by the MDC-T seeking the release of election material so that they could be used as evidence in court. Bhunu further directed the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to investigate and possibly arrest the lawyers who represented MDC-T in the matter for contempt of court.
Mwonzora said the directive to the NPA was unfortunate and was intimidation to lawyers.
“This is meant to file criminal charges against the lawyers. We find that this is very unfortunate and where lawyers who represent people in the courts have no security,” Mwonzora said.


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